Mushroom-Free Caramelized Onion and Vegan Green Bean Casserole

Mushroom-Free Caramelized Onion and Vegan Green Bean Casserole

Green bean casserole was a dish it took me a while to warm up to, I mean, it has mushrooms in it people, MUSHROOMS. p.s. I hate mushrooms, always and forever. At Thanksgiving I was always first to dive into the mashed potatoes and gravy and last to get at the stuffing and green bean casserole (stuffing is still iffy for me). After a while, I discovered that, um this casserole has crispy fried onions on top and gets all bubbly and delicious, so let’s give it a try. Needless to say, I ended up loving that crispy/bubbly combination, but didn’t so much love the condensed creepy mushroom soup that went into making it. Last year, I made a version of vegan green bean casserole from Fat Free Vegan that satisfied my craving, but still, it had mushrooms, so I wasn’t totally sold. I love a good caramelized onion, so I knew I wanted to be heavy on the caramelized onion and crispy onion, super low on the mushroom part.

Mushroom-Free Caramelized Onion and Green Bean Casserole

After tinkering and trying to get at that crispy on the top, bubbly in the middle texture, I finally landed on this vegan green bean casserole compromise. Once I figured out that I didn’t need all the extra steps of caramelizing the onions separate, making a roux before putting everything together, etc., things got a lot easier. The best thing about this casserole is that, just like its original counterpart, it’s a mix and bake kind of dish. Rather than dirtying 2 extra pans and waiting even longer for the casserole to be ready; mix, bake, top, done! The filling becomes all bubbly and crispy on the edges, while the top is crunchy and beans get nice and cooked all the way through. At first, I thought I would want the green beans to stay crunchy, but it turns out, I like them nice and overdone. You might think this is a crime against vegetables, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Mushroom-Free Caramelized Onion and Green Bean Casserole

The crispy onions on the top are optional, but really, it’s Thanksgiving, so why wouldn’t you? Sidenote: I gave my dad a whole can of those crispy french fried onions as part of his birthday gift one year, because we used to have to buy 2 cans around Thanksgiving, one for him and one for the casserole. He doesn’t eat them straight out of the can anymore, but seeing that container always makes me think of him popping it open to swipe a couple handfuls of fried onions.

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Easy Cheesy Vegan Breakfast Potatoes

Easy Cheesy Vegan Breakfast Potatoes

Easy Cheesy Breakfast Potatoes/ heartofabaker.comEasy Cheesy Breakfast Potatoes/ heartofabaker.com

I’ve always been a potato lover, anywhere from mashed potatoes (favorite!) to french fries, I can take down any potato, any way. So much so, that growing up, if a restaurant had loaded baked potato soup and a loaded baked potato on the menu, I would get both. (I know! Super not healthy.) Partly, I think it’s the comfort food factor of potatoes, if I’m sick, I usually want mashed potatoes or if I just need a super fast dinner, a baked potato is the way to go. For breakfast, I always want potatoes in the form of homefries or hashbrowns, either way is fine by me, especially if they are vegan breakfast potatoes. Even better if they are crispy, cheesy and fast, just like these!

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These were created out of a need for satisfying a cheesy potato craving and, in all honesty, came about because I accidentally dumped a lot of nutritional yeast on a batch of breakfast potatoes. A lot of cheese sauces I’ve tried are too complicated or take too much time, and usually at breakfast, I just don’t have the patience to blend together a cheese sauce, clean the food processor, you know the drill. I needed some cheesiness, but not make the potatoes so heavy that the rest of the meal felt like too much. The best solution? Nutritional yeast! Nutritional yeast seemed like a weird and scary ingredient to me when I first started eating vegan. What is this yeast thing and why is it ‘cheesy’? Nutritional yeast is deactivated yeast, so it won’t be a stand in for your next rising bread recipe , but it will be a perfect addition to a recipe to make it just a bit ‘cheesy’. I won’t lie to you and say these taste exactly like normal cheesy potatoes, but they are pretty darn good. Since they are so easy to throw together, they have become part of a go-to meal for using up roasted veggies too.

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